Tejano musical trendsetters LaDezz will take their trailblazing talent and impact the business of Tejano music on July 3 with the launch of an in-house online store at ladezz.com where fans can buy all new music from the band moving forward. Merchandise and previous releases from the group will be available on the site, too.
The group’s spokesperson and one of the vocalists, Mark Ledesma, who together with his brother, David Ledesma, and vocalist Lisa Mar, make up the group, announced via Facebook Live on July 2 that the group would bypass popular streaming services like Spotify and iTunes and make their music available exclusively on their online store.
This includes the new single, “Siempre Contigo,” featuring Grammy-winning Tejano vocalist and saxophonist Joe Posada.
LaDezz — “Siempre Contigo” featuring Joe Posada (Teaser)
In an interview with Tejano Nation, Mark spoke about the mainstream music streaming services and just how little the artists profit when they sell their music to services like Amazon Music and iTunes. This profitability problem, together with the halt of touring brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, has forced artists to find new sources of income.
“We decided as a group to just create our own store,” Mark said. “The reason being is because the Internet stores that sell our music as far as when you talk about Spotify or Apple music, or any kind of those sites like that, we’re only making a certain percentage of the sales. So when they stream this, we’re only making probably like eight cents, eight cents every time somebody streams it.”
Mark continued saying that as music lovers often just pay a monthly subscription to have access to all artists’ music, without buying it, this further decreases an artist’s opportunity for earnings.
“It’s kind of unfair for us,” Mark said. “We make a little bit more as far as when it’s sold on iTunes or Amazon Music when you’re actually going to buy the song…But the key here is people don’t do that anymore.”
Mark said another problem is communication between the artists and the fans as far as how grim the situation is right now, especially in the smaller Tejano market. He said if fans truly want to keep Tejano music alive, as they say, then buying music from the artist and for a slightly higher price may be a commitment they will have to make.
“If you want to keep it alive – and we’re not playing anymore – and the only option is to record music and give it to you, well then you’re going to have to pay for it,” Mark said. “And that’s what we decided to do.”
But the fans won’t be paying more without getting more as Mark said the plan is for the buyer to receive multiple versions of a song when they purchase it, to include possibly the instrumental version, an acapella version and perhaps, a remix. Mark said, as a former DJ, this is a technique that used to happen with vinyl albums called “12-inchers” that featured the radio edit of the single but also other versions of the same song.
“I’m going to bring this old-school technique back because people used to love that,” Mark said. “And what you can do is if you buy the song, I’m going to give you the instrumental and I’m going to give you also the acapella version.”
He continued: “I’m going to give them a little bit more. I know it’s the same song, but you can get this karaoke version, you can get the vocals just by themselves. I think it’s kind of cool and it will help us sell the song as well.”
Mark spoke on June 26 via Facebook in another live video about the difficulties in the industry and was surprised by the fans’ response but also at how little the fans knew about the artist’s struggles.
“I’m learning that there’s no communication between us,” Mark said. “And they don’t know what’s going on. They just think all these guys are making all this money. And we’re not.”
Mark said it’s time the artists spoke up about the business issues they face.
“It’s just time for somebody to say something and quit not saying anything,” he said.
The launch of the LaDezz online store has already caught the interest of other artists who have contacted Mark and have even brought up the idea of an entire store for the Tejano music industry. But for now, LaDezz will be the first.
“So, basically, I’m just trying to start the store on our own website right now,” Mark said. “That’s just how we’re going to start it. And hopefully it works out. That’s what’s going to happen (July 3).”
As far as new music, Mark said the band is dealing with recording the new album in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and with all of the obstacles that presents. But the album is still tentatively set for an August release, pending any further delays.
“Siempre Contigo,” will continue with the album’s theme of featuring influential Tejano artists.
“That’s actually what we’ve been doing on this album,” Mark said. “We’ve been really working with some of the artists from the past that have kind of paved that whole way for Tejano artists.”
The previous single released from the album was, “Que Tu Me Quieres,” and featured David Lee Garza. The next, upcoming single will feature the hit from Los Aguilares, “Anhelo,” that will feature family members of the legendary group Los Aguilares.
Purchase the new single at ladezz.com and support these trendsetters of the Tejano music industry.
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